Dylan Micah Schwindt, our beloved son, loving partner, brother, nephew, cousin, uncle, and friend-of many, passed away unexpectedly December 3, 2021. He was 42 years old.
Dylan was born December 30, 1978 to Don and Jody Schwindt and grew up on the family farm ten miles south of Cortez, Colorado. He loved being outside and spent many hours going with his parents to irrigate, driving tractor, swimming in the ditch and keeping busy teaching his younger sister, Caley, the necessary skills she would need to navigate the world.
Family was always important to Dylan. Life centered around the farm, but also included picnics, fishing, and camping excursions. Dylan attended schools in Cortez and participated in many activities. The most life-changing activity from high school was his participation in the Crow Canyon Archeological High School Field School. The program was wonderful enrichment and encouragement for his insatiably curious mind. It was the beginning of some strong relationships that lasted until the day he died. At Crow Canyon, Dylan learned about archeology and laboratory techniques. He was inspired to do a research project that placed eighth nationwide in the Westinghouse Science Talent Search (now Intel), the premier science fair competition for high school students in the United States. The top ten recipients from this competition were all offered full ride scholarships to New York University that included a $5,000 annual stipend to do continued research projects.
He had the opportunity to attend several other top tier universities and had other scholarship offers, but he chose to utilize the NYU offer which literally put the whole world at the fingertips of this farm-kid from southwestern Colorado. He traveled to South Africa in collaboration with professors from the University of Wyoming and the University of California at Davis to do research about how the poles of the earth reverse magnetic polarity. He used his college years to finally became fluent in both Spanish and Portuguese in order to travel to the Amazon rain forest in both Brazil and Ecuador doing primate centered research. He also spent one summer using the Mondika Wildlife Preserve as his classroom for studying lowland gorillas in the Central African Republic.
After graduating from NYU, Dylan spent several years working in New York City before moving back home where he has been working at Crow Canyon in their IT department. Dylan brought his intellect and his compulsively intense motivation to that job. He loved working there, where he could live his truth, have a strong support system and share his extraordinary sense of humor.
For the last nine years, Dylan was blessed to have Mike White for a partner. The two of them shared many adventures. They loved backpacking the four corners country, camping, swimming and just enjoying friends and family. The two of them traveled to China to bike Hebei Province and visit “the Great Wall of China.” When the Schwindt family lost Dylan, they realized how much Mike had become an important family member.
Dylan had a love and exuberance for life that was rare and contagious. He became an accomplished triathlete and mountain bicyclist, while maintaining his love of piano, his work, his friendships and extended family relationships. Recently, Dylan was back in the family farm, engaged as a “farm manager” in preparation for a transition from his parents, as they faced retirement.
Dylan was preceded in death by his grandparents, John and Audrey Miller and J. Wayne and Dollie Schwindt; and his cousin, John Nix. He is survived by his parents, Don and Jody Schwindt; his partner, Mike White; his sister, Caley Kovacevic (Sasa); eight nieces and nephews, Paisios Roper, Grigoriye, Ana, Nona, Doratea, Kseniya, Juliyana, and new little baby Kovacevic; three aunts; two uncles; six cousins; and extended family.
Dylan has sprinkled a lot of love around the world and in his home community. We have wonderful memories and we shall all miss him. Memorial contributions may be made to the Dylan Schwindt Foundation at Crow Canyon. The funds will be used for causes that Dylan believed in including education, scholarships, research and equality.